A man taking a selfie, which is common for anyone who uses photo apps.

How safe are you on your favorite photo apps?

Photo apps are the social media platform most vulnerable to attack. By nature, they tend to have the most sensitive material. Worry grows among Snapchat and Instagram users because of this. As shown over the years, when a hacker is able to gain access to such sensitive material, it proves to be very damaging.

Users of photo apps would be wise to take as many preventative measures as possible. Storage location, the rise of location-specific information, and changes in an app’s terms of service do not help security. Developers need to do more. As it stands, too many users are vulnerable.

Security Flaws Made by Developers of Photo Apps

Neither Instagram nor Snapchat has end-to-end encryption. Both apps communicate primarily through pictures. Making sure the sender and recipient are the only ones able to see the messages should be a priority. Not having end-to-end is a problem.

Snapchat has also changed its terms of service recently. These changes now allow them to store and share information with third parties and their affiliates. Considering how the initial appeal of Snapchat was that all messages and photos vanished after a brief period of time, this upset users.

Security Measures for All Users

It’s highly suggested to take advantage of the phone software and security apps protecting a user’s photo access. With iOS 8, Apple made it possible to hide pictures on iOS devices. This is achieved by simply putting them in a designated folder. Additionally, apps such as HiFolder allow users to store private images locally in its password-protected vault.

Those measures only work for a phone’s internal storage of photos, however. For photo apps, users must take matters into their own hands. Linking an account to another social media platform like Facebook or Twitter is a big risk. As is using anything in the app that requests location. Being aware of which followers can be trusted is also necessary.

Most social media apps could stand to beef up their security as it stands. Because of its history of getting hacked, security for photo apps is especially important. More preventative measures by both developers and users must be in place.